By Mira Montani
Contrary to what US Attorney General Jeff Sessions says, the recent shutdown of two major dark web sites – AlphaBay and Hansa – will not reduce the prevalence of online drug marketplaces or solve the opioid crisis. In fact, it may do the opposite.
On July 20, the US Justice Department announced their seizure of AlphaBay, the largest operating dark web marketplace. As part of a coordinated effort with Dutch police, the FBI initially pretended the website shutdown was an exit scam - whereby “the proprietors of a dark web marketplace suddenly abscond with everyone’s money” - to avoid raising suspicion among users. Authorities had correctly expected that AlphaBay customers would then move to other popular websites, including Hansa.
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Thumbnail Flickr CC Brian Klung